I haven’t posted any quotes in a while and this is one of my favorites.
An emotion is only an emotion.
It’s just a small part of your whole being.
You are much more than your emotion.
An emotion comes, stays for a while, and goes away, just like a storm.
If you’re aware of that, you won’t be afraid of your emotions.
~Thich Nhat Hanh
Also, if you haven’t checked out my photo site lately head on over. SmugMug pushed an update which is basically an entire redesign of the site. I’ve made some changes to it which I’m not sure I like, but it’s something different.
I’m finally fed up with having to restart Firefox every day because it eats all the memory on my machines so I’m switching to Chrome full time. This is just a test of the WordPress addon.
I’ve written before about dealing with Depression and finally admitting to myself that I needed help. It took a while after all of that for something to actually make me want to get help. I realized that I didn’t want to feel like this anymore and because of the meds I had a glimpse into what could be.
Talk therapy in conjunction with medication has really done wonders for me. I started seeing a therapist at the end of February and was doing 2 sessions a week because I was motivated to find a balance in life and I knew that if I didn’t find that balance that I wouldn’t be able to keep going for much longer. Things had gotten that bad for me. I was reading an old post of mine and I described the way I felt at the time as a pit surrounded by 4 walls and ahead of me was a dark tunnel that I couldn’t see the end of no matter how long I walked. I’m starting to see the light at the end of that tunnel.
Now, that doesn’t mean that I’m magically cured or have a sunny outlook on things all the time. What it means is that while the negative thoughts are still there I now know how to deal with them, by using one of the tenants of Buddhism called mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and not worrying about things coming in the future. The best example I can give is one by Thich Nhat Hanh:
“While washing the dishes one should only be washing the dishes, which means that while washing the dishes one should be completely aware of the fact that one is washing the dishes. At first glance, that might seem a little silly: why put so much stress on a simple thing? But that’s precisely the point. The fact that I am standing there and washing these bowls is a wondrous reality. I’m being completely myself, following my breath, conscious of my presence, and conscious of my thoughts and actions. There’s no way I can be tossed around mindlessly like a bottle slapped here and there on the waves.”
It really does seem stupidly easy, doesn’t it? Try it. Try focusing on a single task that you’re doing. Focus on it but at the same time realize when your mind starts to wander to something else. Acknowledge that new thought and then re-focus on the task at hand. For me, this is a very difficult task because I’m so used to rushing through what I have to do to get to something that I enjoy doing. I was living my life kind of like Adam Sandler in the movie “Click”. Fast fowarding through all the mundane to get to the good. But when I didn’t have anything good to look forward to the depression took over.
Using mindfulness I now focus on what I’m doing at that moment and my mind does drift but I’m able to catch that wander, acknowledge it with no judgement (I tend to beat myself up quite a bit if I fail at something or don’t live up to my own expectations) using this method of non-judgemental acknowledgement I simply smile at the wandering thought and move back to the task at hand.
For those of you that know me you maybe thinking I’ve lost my mind. Maybe I have, or maybe I’ve become who I’m supposed to be. I’ll write more on Buddhism later but I’ll wrap this up with another quote:
“Don’t try to use what you learn from Buddhism to become a Buddhist; use it to become a better person.” – The Dali Lama
I’ve literally got 5 drafts saved as a follow up to my “Serious Post“. None of them feel right just yet. Maybe if I combine them all I’d have something…Anyway, this is just a quick update on how I’ve been feeling since then. In a word, Great. I’ve been going to therapy twice a week since the end of February and in that time I’ve really been able to use some Buddhist principles in my everyday life..Things make a lot more sense to me now.
I will write more later but with the new theme in place I wanted to get something out to let those who have been reading that I’m doing better.
Trying something a bit different with the blog theme..Some things may be broken/missing as I get the kinks worked out.
“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.” Martin Luther King Jr.
A lot of things going on around me have been weighing me down. I feel like a tipping point will be reached sooner rather than later and that decisions will have to be made, sides will have to be chosen and lines will have to be drawn.
I really, really hope I’m wrong.
I stopped making resolutions years ago simply because I never followed through with them. The last several years have progressively gotten worse for me, mostly due to my own actions and inactions.
The latest shooting in CT has brought to the forefront something that I’ve dealt with for years, mental health. More appropriately the stigma associated with mental health. The idea that someone is weak because they deal with depression, PTSD or any other mental health issue. I want that stigma gone so and sitting on the sidelines for most of my life hasn’t helped so if I want the game to change then I need to have some skin in it.
I want to put a warning here for those dealing with depression or any other mental related issues that what follows could be triggering..I also want to stress that what follows might be difficult for some to read.
Turns out that posting my last entry did help somewhat…Thank you to those who sent me messages of support..I didn’t reply to any of them simply because I didn’t know what to say..As I stated I wasn’t looking for a pat on the back or an “atta boy”. But I do thank you for the kind words.
Everyone has times they’re down..Holidays, tragic events, even rain…My worst times revolve around 2 days. Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day. I’ve never written about this and never even told anyone before but I feel the need to get it out of my head. I don’t know if I’ll make this post live but I just need to get it out..
First, some background.
Yesterday a storm rolled through my community and knocked down several trees and broke off some huge limbs. Power was off at the house when I got home so I decided to go out and grab a bite to eat. On the way back home I stopped to get gas and noticed the credit card readers were down..They were down at 4 of the 5 stations I stopped at. No big deal right? Well, I don’t carry cash and I haven’t in several years. Had I not found a station that would let me use my debit card I probably wouldn’t have had enough gas to get home.
Luckily this is a pretty easy problem to solve. I now have a small amount of cash for gas only and will be putting a small amount of cash in/on every vehicle I have. The bigger issue is what if there was no power to any of the gas stations? I don’t really want to get into keeping spare gas but I may find a way to put a 5gal Jerry can or something in the back of the truck. I already have one of these for each motorcycle. Time to find something similar for the truck and find a way to store is safely and securely.